The US Fish & Wildlife Service has published a draft Recovery Plan for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Furthermore, the organization seeks public review and comment:
A draft recovery plan outlining habitat needs and future conservation efforts aimed at preventing the extinction of the Ivory-billed woodpecker was made available for public comment today.
Interested citizens, conservation organizations, state and federal agencies and others, will have 60 days to provide comments on the 185-page blueprint put together by one of the most talented recovery teams ever assembled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is the first recovery plan crafted for this species and comments on the plan will be accepted by the Service until October 22, 2007.
Evidence supporting the Ivory-billed Woodpeckerâ€™s rediscovery with the presence of at least one bird in the Bayou de View area of Cache River National Wildlife Refuge was announced in 2004 and 2005. The woodpeckerâ€™s rediscovery led to the need to develop a recovery plan. While the woodpeckerâ€™s existence has not been confirmed since, tantalizing evidence continues to be gathered in Arkansas, Floridaâ€™s panhandle, South Carolina, and other locations across its historic range…
the FWS has created a treasure trove of information about the search for the ivory-bill to accompany the Draft Ivory-billed Woodpecker Recovery Plan itself. This massive document, 182 pages in length, deserves a look if only for its impressive production values.
One has to admire the thoroughness of the FWS in drafting a recovery plan for a bird that may already be extinct. The optimist in me wants to applaud this act as a worthy commitment to preserving the last hope for the Grail Bird’s survival. My inner pragmatist, on the other hand, lost faith in Cornell’s quixotic search years ago. What are your thoughts?